Best Hair Relaxer for Men

For men born with curly and frizzy hair, it’s a never-ending quest in search of straighter hair. Relaxing creams are the best alternative when it comes to dealing with curly hair.

However, just like when searching for the world’s best beard relaxer, you might feel overwhelmed by all the brands on the market. 

This guide is meant to help you narrow down your options and choose a good hair relaxer that will get the work done without damaging your hair in the process. 

What Is a Hair Relaxer for Men

A hair relaxer is a hair styling product that is used to tame down the hair texture and most importantly get rid of curls. By using a hair relaxer, your hair becomes easier to manage.

When looking for a hair relaxer though, you need to be careful. Most hair relaxers on the market are full of chemicals that end up damaging the texture of the hair as well as the scalp.

But this is not to say that there aren’t any good hair relaxers on the market that you can use. On the contrary, the many brands of hair relaxers available might leave you spoilt for choice. 

Benefits of Hair Relaxers for Men

Just like non-sticky pomade for hair works great, if you are thinking about using a hair relaxer, here are some of the benefits that you should look forward to. 

Helps Straighten the Hair

One of the main reasons most men would consider using hair relaxers is curly and frizzy hair. 

Hair relaxers are meant to tame hair, removing curls so that you can have easily manageable straighter hair.

Easy to Manage

Hair relaxers alter the structure of the hair when used which helps get rid of curls as well as tangles. Relaxed hair, therefore, becomes easier to manage in the long run.

Easy to Style

If you’ve always struggled with curly and frizzy hair, you know just how annoying it can be to style such hair.

With hair relaxers, however, the structure of your hair is altered which eliminates the curls plus any tangles making styling much easier.  

How Do Hair Relaxers for Men Work

How Do Hair Relaxers for Men Work

Hair relaxers come in the form of creams or lotions and work by altering the structure of your hair leaving hair smooth and straight for up to eight weeks. 

Hair relaxers are a great alternative for those who don’t want to deal with the hot tools regularly as well as those who don’t have the budget for keratin treatment. 

Hair relaxers contain chemicals so you need to be careful when using one. When used wrongly, hair relaxers can end up damaging not only the hair but your skin. 

Most of the time, you will need a professional to apply the hair relaxer on your hair unless you know what you are doing or can follow the directions of use. 

Pros and Cons of Hair Relaxers for Men

If you are thinking about straightening your curls with a hair relaxer but are not fully sold on the idea, here are some pros and cons to help you make a better-informed decision. 

Pros

  • Hair relaxers are usually easy to use. After preparation, the application process should take about 10 to 15 minutes. Once that is done, you need to wash out the relaxant, shampoo and condition your hair. You can then go ahead and give your hair a matte finish with a hair cream if you don’t want the shiny appearance that comes from using a hair relaxer. 
  • Hair relaxers remove tangles and knots from your hair. If you have naturally curly hair, then you know just how easy such hair can get tangled. Chemically treated hair feels more natural when brushing out and is responsive to conditioning treatments. 
  • With hair relaxers, you are assured of your hair remaining straight even during wet and high humid weather. Naturally, curly hair tends to get frizzy when exposed to high humidity and wet conditions. This is something you never have to worry about when you have relaxed your hair. 
  • Since hair relaxers remove tangles and knots, hair becomes easier to style. When you use a hair relaxer, you can say goodbye to the extensive styling process that one must go through when trying to style naturally curly hair. 
  • Using hair relaxers means that your hair will remain straight for weeks without the need to re-straighten it.

Cons

  • Hair relaxers are usually made of chemicals. What this means is that your hair strands are likely to weaken over time especially if you don’t take care of the hair. It’s the same thing that happens when you use any premium hair dye or other chemical applicants on your hair. 
  • If you are planning on using a hair relaxer, you are better off having a professional do it. However, it’s not everyone who has the budget to keep going back to the hair salon after every 6 to 8 weeks for treatment. 
  • Even with proper protection, hair relaxers could still irritate the skin when used. This is, however, not so much a problem when you get a professional to do it because they know what to do to protect your scalp during application. 
  • Using hair relaxers is usually not a permanent solution to your curly hair. This is because the treatment only lasts for 6 to 8 weeks after which you need a touch-up. 
  • If you are thinking about spotting curly hair at some point, using hair relaxers might not be the best option for you. Hair relaxers make it impossible to go back to natural hair unless to allow the hair to grow out which will make you look unkempt. 

Types of Hair Relaxers for Men

While there are so many sharp scissors for hair, when it comes to hair relaxers meant for men, there isn’t much in terms of variety. However, two main types of hair relaxers are used by professionals – lye and non-lye relaxers.  

Lye Relaxers

Lye hair relaxers are the most common and it is what a stylist will apply when you visit a hair salon. Such relaxers, however, cause damage to not only the hair but the scalp. 

During application, the scalp needs to be protected with a petroleum-based product to ensure that the relaxer doesn’t come into contact with the skin. 

Types of Hair Relaxers for Men

No-Lye Relaxers

Non-lye relaxers do as good a job of relaxing your hair as lye relaxers without the long-term damage.

The relaxers, however, cause a buildup when applied and you need to use a chelating shampoo after application. 

How to Choose the Best Hair Relaxer for Men

Men who have curly hair are often limited when it comes to styling. Luckily, hair relaxers alter the structure of the hair to remove the curls, and tangles for straighter hair. 

The application process is easy and you can dry your hair quickly in just a few minutes. At the end of the day though, you need to be cautious when using hair relaxers because some can end up damaging your hair and scalp in the process. 

Here are a few things that you need to consider when you are buying any hair relaxer for men. 

Sensitive Scalp

If you have sensitive skin as well as scalp, you need to be extra cautious when you are buying any brand of hair relaxer. 

This is because hair relaxers contain chemicals that could lead to a harsh reaction that may end up damaging the hair and the skin. 

If you have sensitive skin, therefore, you are better off using a non-lye hair relaxer since such a relaxer contains less harsh chemicals. Hair relaxers that contain natural ingredients are also ideal for men who have sensitive scalps. 

While at it, go for a relaxer that has been labeled safe for sensitive skin and hair wax specialized for sensitive skin if you plan to style your hair after relaxing. 

Curly Hair

If you have naturally curly hair, a lye hair relaxer that contains sodium hydroxide as the main ingredient would work best for you. 

Bear in mind that such hair relaxers cause damage to the hair, in the long run, so be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding usage. 

Color-Treated and Damaged Hair

If you have color-treated hair, before you use any hair relaxers, one thing you need to bear in mind is that hair relaxers that contain harsh chemicals will end up stripping off the color. 

The same applies to when your hair is already damaged. By using hair treatments with a lot of harsh chemicals, you will only end up damaging your hair further.

Luckily, the market has hair relaxers that are made to be used on damaged and color-treated hair. Such relaxers will usually contain natural ingredients that don’t damage the hair in the process. 

On that point, if you have damaged and thinning hair, castor oil gives volume to thinning hair. Likewise, some shampoos improve hair density.

How to Apply Hair Relaxer for Men

How to Apply Hair Relaxer for Men

Step 1 – Start with dirty hair

Hair relaxers contain chemicals that put stress on the hair and the scalp. As such, the worst thing you can do is use a hair relaxer on clean hair. 

Before you apply any hair relaxer, you need to make sure that you don’t wash or condition your hair for about 7 to 10 days. 

The natural oils that are released by the skin will build up to form a protective layer that will prevent any harsh reactions. 

Likewise ensure that when you are combing or brushing the hair, you don’t cause any irritation that can result in chemical burns when you apply the relaxer. 

If you have any irritation on the scalp you are better off allowing that to heal before you apply any hair relaxer.

Step 2 – Prepare to apply

Before you do any application, make sure that you have everything you need to see you through the entire process. Cover the surfaces and lay towels to handle any chemical spills. 

Step 3 – Do a strand test

Before you apply the hair treatment, you are better off doing a strand test first using any chemical product including the ones you already use. This is because it’s possible to develop allergies that weren’t present before.

Step 4 – Protect your skin

When you are using a hair relaxer, you will not only be putting stress on your hair but the skin as well. Therefore, ensure that you use a petroleum-based product around the neck, ears, and hairline to protect against irritation and burns. 

Step 5 – Follow the manufacturer’s instructions

Just like Oster clippers have a strong motor, when you are using hair relaxers, you are subjecting your hair to structural changes and therefore you need to be careful how you go about that.

It’s very important that you follow the instructions on the label regarding the usage and timescales. 

Step 6 – Divide the hair into small sections

Now that you have everything ready, it’s time to start applying the hair relaxer. When doing so, you need to keep in mind that large sections are harder to relax than smaller ones. 

Therefore, divide your hair into smaller sections and start applying the hair relaxer to each section. 

Step 7 – Pay attention to the time

One of the reasons why people have bad reactions to hair relaxers is because they leave the relaxer on for more than the recommended time. 

Rather than guesstimating the time, you are better off setting a timer according to the recommended manufacturer’s timescale. 

Step 8 – Rinse the hair

Once you are sure that the relaxer has done its job, rinse the hair. Take your time to rinse off all the relaxer. Failure to do that could lead to chemical burns and irritations later on. 

When you are sure that all the relaxer is washed off, you can go ahead and use a neutralizing shampoo. The more you rinse your hair, the less likely you will end up with burns and over-processed hair. 

When you are done, if you want to style the hair, go for a high-quality hair gel due to the strong, but flexible hold the gel provides. While at it, consider using a hairspray that doesn’t make your hair sticky

How to Make a Hair Relaxer for Men

Let’s face it, most hair relaxers on the market are made of ingredients that end up damaging your hair and scalp in the long run.

The safest choice is to make your own hair relaxer at home using safe and natural ingredients.

Step 1 – Using coconut cream 

Coconut cream is a natural relaxing ingredient that can be used to relax and soothe men’s hair from root to tip. One advantage of using coconut cream is that the results are long-lasting.

To make a coconut cream relaxer, you will need 4 tablespoons of coconut cream extract, 2 tablespoons of organic coconut oil plus 12oz of yogurt. 

Boil the cream and then add oil before mixing in the yogurt and combining all the ingredients. Apply the mixture to your hair and leave for 30 minutes to an hour before rinsing off. 

Step 2 – Using milk

Milk works as a natural relaxer and it’s readily available. The only thing you need to do is to add some milk to a squirt bottle or a spray gun and then spray it on the hair. 

Leave for 30 minutes to an hour before rinsing off. The good thing about using milk is that you don’t need to add any more ingredients.

Step 3 – Using olive oil 

Like milk, olive oil doesn’t need to be combined with other ingredients. Apply olive oil to your hair making sure that you coat the hair well. 

After that, apply heat using a blow dryer and leave for about an hour or two before rinsing off the oil. 

The good thing about using olive oil is that it helps relax the hair and at the same time moisturize it; something that store-bought chemical relaxers don’t do.  

Step 4 – Using honey

Honey has a lot of medicinal benefits and it can also double up as a natural hair relaxer. To make the hair relaxer, you need honey, lemon juice, olive oil, and caramel. 

Combine all the ingredients and then apply the mixture to the hair. Leave for 15 minutes and then rinse off. 

Does More Spending Mean More Quality

Does More Spending Mean More Quality

When you are choosing a hair relaxer for men, spending more doesn’t always guarantee quality. 

Unlike when you are buying a trimmer that will thoroughly remove hairs from your ears, with hair relaxers, what should concern you is the ingredients. 

Since hair relaxers contain chemicals that can burn your scalp and damage your hair, you need to go for hair relaxers that contain natural or less harsh ingredients. 

Do’s and Don’ts With Hair Relaxers for Men

  • Do ensure that you protect your scalp and skin before applying any hair treatment. This should involve using a petroleum-based product.
  • Do ensure that you also protect your hands by using gloves to prevent irritations and chemical burns.
  • If you are applying a hair relaxer for the first time, it’s always better if a professional does it.
  • Do ensure that you follow the instructions of the manufacturer regarding the usage and the time scales. 
  • Do consider using a hair relaxer that contains natural ingredients to avoid any damage to the hair and the scalp.
  • Do consider dividing the hair into smaller sections before application. This is because applying a hair relaxer on large hair sections will take time to relax the hair which only leaves your skin prone to chemical burns. 
  • Don’t use hair treatments if you have any irritation or burns on the scalp.
  • Don’t clean your hair before applying a relaxer. Rather, leave the hair unwashed for about ten days. 

FAQ About Hair Relaxer for Men

What is the safest hair relaxer?

Most hair relaxers on the market are harsh and end up causing a lot of stress on the hair and scalp. This is especially true when you are using lye hair relaxers. Non-lye hair relaxers on the other hand are somewhat safe. However, the safest option would be to stick to natural ingredients like honey, olive oil, coconut cream, or milk. 

How often should a man relax his hair?

Most hair relaxers last for about 6 to 8 weeks after which you need a re-touch. 

How long should you wait to relax your hair after washing it?

It’s not recommended to apply a hair relaxer on freshly cleaned hair unless you want to end up with a burnt scalp. Rather, you need to wait a week to ten days after washing your hair to relax it. This allows natural oils to build up to create a protective layer that will prevent any burns and damage when you apply the relaxer. 

How can I relax my hair naturally at home? 

Yes, it’s very possible to relax your hair at home using natural ingredients like milk, honey, olive oil, and coconut cream. 

Can I put a relaxer on wet hair?

It’s not recommended since water stretches the hair which could leave it more vulnerable to damage from the chemicals in the hair relaxer. 

What should you not do before a relaxer?

You should never wash your hair before applying a relaxer. Also, don’t comb or brush your hair too hard that you end up irritating the scalp. 

Conclusion

Men who have naturally curly hair often struggle with the styling of such hair. Likewise, such hair also gets frizzy when exposed to wet and high humid conditions. The only solution is relaxing the hair which gives you more freedom when it comes to styling. With so many hair relaxer brands, you need to ensure that the relaxer you choose is safe and doesn’t damage your hair and scalp in the long run.  

Photos from: [email protected] / depositphotos.com, Dmyrto_Z / depositphotos.com, topntp / depositphotos.com and dima_sidelnikov / depositphotos.com.

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